Friday, December 18, 2009


Oliver woke not to the sound of a stirring, but to the sound of his own excitement; like a tiny rubber ball bouncing off the walls of his brain. Looking across his room he could see his sister Claudia’s face faintly illuminated by the grey morning light now seeping through the window. She slept peacefully- in way that made him jealous and pity her all at once. The sun had just begun to rise behind a ceiling of grey clouds and the millions of snow flakes slowly falling from the sky.

Oliver lay still for a moment, knowing that it was too early to wake up. But soon his conscience began to salivate at all the excitement, the possibility, and the bounty that lay upstairs- patiently biding it’s time in the warmth of a wool stocking and in the cool shade of a tree.

Oh, the waiting!

Oliver’s head began to swirl with curiosity and agony. Again he looked to Claudia, asleep in the bed adjacent, hoping that perhaps she too felt the same way! And that they could spring free from their chambers and make a break for the fireplace together! But, no such luck would fall upon him; Claudia slept away like she always did, possibly dreaming of horses, Jujubes, and dolls.

A minute passed. Then two… Three minutes passed! Oliver couldn’t wait any longer. He sprung from his bed in his favorite skeleton pajamas and raced to the bedroom door, peeking out the crack: clear!

Expertly avoiding all the creaky wooden boards he’d memorized, Oliver snuck down the hall where, as silent as a black cat, he made his way upstairs. At the top he could see that the dining room table was set for breakfast. Snow flakes fell upward towards the sky as they passed through concave sides of empty wine glasses on the table by the window. Outside he could see green pine trees lazily drooping downwards; exhausted by the weight of the snow piled precariously high upon each branch big and small, like icing.

Suddenly (out of the corner of his little eye) he caught a movement which startled him. Across the living room black sooty dust slowly floated down from the chimney into the fire pit. Terrified and excited at once, Oliver froze (eyes fixed) as he briefly witnessed the sole of a boot shake swiftly and ascend out of view (without a sound)! Racing over to the mantle, Oliver saw nothing more; so boots, no red coat, and no Santa. Turning around he would notice the shiny boxes wrapped with ribbons under the tree; new exciting evidence which rekindled his belief and raised his spirits once more.

Heart racing, Oliver would run down the upstairs hall towards the master bedroom and crack open the door with the same care and stealth as he’d done downstairs.

Peeking into the room he could hear the taps running in the wash closet where his Grandmother was bathing. Beyond, he could see his grandfather sitting upright in bed (hair standing on end- one pale hairy leg stretched out, up over the covers) scribbling on a crossword puzzle. Oliver would meet his Grandfathers smiling grey-blue eyes as if expecting him.

“Well? Oliver, let’s see what Santa brought you!?!”

Shrieking with joy Oliver ran down the hall once again; his flat feet pounding on the wooden floors waking Claudia below.

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